Sunday, 28 February 2016

Free From Smoked Haddock and Tenderstem Gratin

Dairy Free Gluten Free Haddock Gratin Recipe

We got some bad news the other day that Ben's (my cat) kidneys are deteriorating and they have changed dramatically since they were last tested 3 weeks ago.  He was looking miserable and drooling, I checked inside his mouth but couldn't see any obvious masses or dental issues so I took him along to my work to get a check over and that's where we discovered that his kidneys are failing.  After some fluids under the skin and being sent home with a course of antibiotics he has perked up a lot but he probably has a few weeks at the most left so I'm hoping that he can reach his 20th birthday in a couple of weeks time.  Whatever time he has left we are going to make it as enjoyable as we can for him; if he wants tuna in his favourite dish he can have it even if it's 2.30am, if he climbs up for a cuddle while I'm eating my dinner I can eat while he curls up on my knee, if he meows for attention while I'm watching tv then I will see what he needs because once he has gone I will miss all of those things that used to annoy me before.

Browsing the selection of different fishes to buy for Ben (he loves salmon, prawns, cod and haddock) I picked up some smoked haddock for ourselves as I hadn't had that in a very long time and thought it would go perfect in a gratin along with some Tenderstem.  As I don't eat dairy or gluten I've not had a gratin in ages either so I decided to make my own Free From version and here it is:

What you need:

Coconut Oil for greasing
2 fillets Smoked Haddock cut into cubes
5 Cherry Tomatoes halved
200g Dairy Free Yoghurt
100g Dairy Free Cheese grated
Half a Red Onion finely chopped
100g Tenderstem
Juice of half a Lemon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
Gluten Free Breadcrumbs for topping

How to make:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees/160 degrees if using a fan oven
Grease your gratin dish with the coconut oil
Boil or steam your Tenderstem, drain and arrange on the bottom of gratin dish
Place the smoked haddock on top of the Tenderstem, fill in the gaps with the cherry tomatoes and season with some salt and pepper
In a small bowl mix the yoghurt, grated cheese, onion, lemon juice and nutmeg along with a lot of pepper and a bit of salt.
Spread the mixture over the fish and Tenderstem and top with the breadcrumbs
Place in the pre-heated oven for 30 mins until golden brown

Serve with honey roasted baby carrots and potatoes to serve 4 people. This dish is so easy to make and if you are like me and miss cheesy dishes then you will love this! The Tenderstem adds a bit of crunch to the dish and the smoked haddock gives it extra flavour.

Let me know if you gave this recipe a try and if you are looking for more Tenderstem recipes check them out

Disclaimer: I was given a voucher from Tenderstem to buy ingredients to make this recipe. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

What I Got In The Sales January 2016

I know I'm a bit late with this post but for two reasons, one being that even though you buy things in the Next VIP sale you still have to wait over 6 weeks for some of your items to arrive and the second is that I managed to score a few extra bargains by waiting until the end of January.

When I re-organised my wardrobe (you can read about it here) in September I said that I didn't need anymore jumpers as I already had enough and even had some that had never been worn.  This statement should really have applied to my whole wardrobe as I didn't really need any more clothes, bags, boots, etc but the shopaholic in me just told me to buy, buy buy! I'm now at the stage where I am probably going to have to do another wardrobe cull.....aaaarggghhh!!

Anyway going back to what I bought in the sales, I picked up these lovely items from Next, Oasis, Monsoon and Accessorize.  Although most of my wardrobe comes from Oasis with a bit of Next and New Look shoved in, Monsoon is definitely a shop that I should buy more from.  While I have bought a couple of wedding outfits from there in the past I do tend to overlook it for everyday wear even though they have really lovely, good quality clothes in there.  I admit that a lot of their things can be pricey but when they have a sale on there are some amazing bargains to be had in Monsoon.

I bought this black jumper from Monsoon for only £19 (was £49), it is knitted with a lacy mesh panel along the top.  It is really comfy to wear and I normally with it with my jeans and ankle boots but you could also wear it with a skirt or trousers if you wanted to wear it for an office look.  I did buy another top from there that was £69 down to £20.50 but returned it as it looked awful on me!

I wear trainers for work as some days I am there for 11 hours and need something really comfortable on my feet as I can end up doing a lot of walking around the building finding out how patients are when their owners phone or come to visit, cleaning our mahoosive waiting room, putting delivered items through the back, etc.  So I bought these glittery trainers (they don't look that sparkly in the photo) or as the Head Nurse calls them "my disco shoes" for £10 in New Look, only the tips of them are visible due to my work trousers being a bit on the long side so they aren't too noticeable but they add a bit of sparkle to my otherwise dull, black uniform.

Staying on the trainer theme, I bought these Asics trainers from Next for £30 down from £60 and as you can see they are a bit bright with them being pink and purple coloured! These are to encourage me to get my flabby arse into gear and get fit, no excuses! The only time they have been on my feet so far is to try them on so I really need to change that and wear them out!

Another footwear item but this time it's boots, are these Lotus fur lined wedge boots also from Next which were £90 down to £45.  I love them as they give me a bit of height since I'm only 5 foot 2(ish) and are cosy to wear.  Also as they are wedges and not heels I find them really easy to walk in, there is no going over my ankle when wearing these boots!

From Oasis I got this little lot; a necklace which was £20 down to £5, earrings that were only £1, a ring that was £16 and now only £4 and a black & silver wrap that was £29 reduced to £10.  I got a few things from them online too; a white necklace jumper that I had my eye on before Christmas at £45, it was then £25 and reduced further to £18 but as I bought it on blue Monday I got an extra 20% off so that made it £14.40, the silver crinkle top was originally £28 but after reductions and the blue Monday code it was only £8 and the red chiffon top was £20 down to £10 but I ordered that earlier on in January.

I love accessories and Accessorize is where I normally head to for such items, they have an amazing selection of jewellery, bags, scarves and even things such as phone covers and stationery.  In their sale I picked up this pretty black cross the body bag which was £29 down to £14.50, a black stone necklace that was £7.50 from £15 and these cute bunny slipper socks that were £3 from £6.  Annoyingly the next day after I ordered them the socks were reduced further to £1.80!!

I think I scored a lot of bargains in the sales this year even though I had promised myself that I didn't need anything and should save my money for other things, well that was a huge fail!

How did you do in the sales this year? Did you manage to find yourself some good bargains?  Let me know :)

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Slow Cooked BBQ Pulled Beef

Slow Cooker Recipes

The slow cooker is definitely one of my most used pieces of kitchen equipment (unlike my Kitchenaid which I've only used twice) as it means that I can chuck some food items in it, switch it on and then leave it to get on with my day whether I'm in the house or out at work.  Come dinner time when I'm hungry, I have a meal ready for me to eat with very little hassle.  I have made  soups, chillis, casseroles and also my festive favourite Gammon in Cherry Coke, the BBQ Pulled Beef is a new addition to my slow cooker repertoire.

The BBQ Pulled Beef is really easy to make and when you walk into the kitchen while it is cooking, the smell is amazing! You can serve it in a bun, with a side of potato wedges or with tacos.


Beef ( I used 750g Roasting Beef)
Sliced Red Onion
200mls Barbeque Sauce (I used Heinz Barbeque Sticky Sauce)
3 Tbsp Soft Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp American Mustard
1Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

How to make:

Slice your red onion and put that in your slow cooker along with the beef (remember to remove any butcher's twine as you won't want that in your meal!)
In a jug add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Pour the sauce over the beef, place the lid on to the slow cooker and turn to cook on low.  Do not remove the lid, not even to smell how lovely it is, as this interferes with the slow cooking process.
Cook for 7-8 hours.
When ready remove the lid and take out the beef and place it on a plate.  Using two forks shred the meat and then return it to the slow cooker so you can coat the meat in the sauce so it is completely coated.

I served mine using gluten free buns, coleslaw, rocket and sliced gherkins and it tasted sooooooo good!

Do you have a slow cooker, what's your favourite thing to cook in it? Let me know if you gave this recipe a try!

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